A serious and original philosopher explores the meaning of your life.
'Any spiritual life must tremble with the anxiety of freedom, even in the most profound fulfillment of our aspirations...'
Would Heaven be boring? Do you want to live forever? If this is all there is, what should we do with it? Join the Swedish philosopher Martin Hagglund on an original inquiry into the deepest questions of existence.
To embrace the freedom that life grants us, Hagglund argues, we must rid ourselves of religious fantasies of immortality. Our time in this world is the only thing of value we can ever possess, but capitalism constantly beguiles us to steal it away. Via profound engagements with some of the greatest philosophers and theologians in history, including Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, Hagglund takes aim at these two great enemies, religion and capitalism, stripping away their many subtle illusions to return us to life itself, in all its fragility and uncertainty.
This Life is the first great work of existentialist philosophy to emerge in the 21st century. Existence is our collective project: we must grasp that everything is at stake in what we do with our finite time together. It is the only thing we possess, and it is precious.
Martin Hagglund is Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Yale University, and a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. His first book in English, Radical Atheism (2008), was the subject of a conference at Cornell, a colloquium at Oxford, and a 250-page special issue of The New Centennial Review titled Living On: Of Martin Hagglund. His most recent book, Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov (2012), was hailed by the Los Angeles Review of Books as a 'revolutionary' achievement. In 2018, he received a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City.